Fantasy Science Fiction short stories anthologies Kickstarter

Ten days to go in Kickstarter for anthology featuring major SF & fantasy authors

By Edward Willett
Mar 19, 2020 · 1,984 words · 8 minutes

Shapers of worlds front cover web


From the author: Live now: a Kickstarter to fund an anthology featuring major SF & fantasy authors

IT’S LIVE NOWa Kickstarter campaign to fund Shapers of Worlds, an anthology of short stories from some of the authors who were guests my podcast, The Worldshapers, in its first year.

I’ve always loved talking to other writers about their creative process, so for my podcast, basically, I just decided to record those conversations. I reached out to some of the many amazing writers I’ve met in my years in the field, and lo and behold, they agreed to be my guests.

As a result, the first year of The Worldshapers features some of the best writers in the genre, starting with John Scalzi, Robert J. Sawyer, and Tanya Huff in my first weekend. Since then, I’ve talked to many, many more. And in October, The Worldshapers won an Aurora Award (Canada’s top fan-nominated-and-voted-on science fiction award) for Best Fan Related Work.

The publisher

Not long before I started the podcast, I also started my own publishing company, Shadowpaw Press (named after our black Siberian cat), and it occurred to me that I had a golden opportunity, thanks to my conversations with all these great writers, to bring some of them together under one anthological roof. That was the inspiration for the focus of this Kickstarter, Shapers of Worlds: to showcase the work of some of the amazing authors I’ve been honored to interview.

I’ve limited it to the guests from my first year. If it funds, I hope to carry on with a second anthology featuring guests from my second year,  and then another in my third year, and…

Not everyone was available to be part of the anthology, but I’ve got 18 authors committed to it: nine providing new fiction, nine providing reprints.

Shapers of Worlds will feature new fiction by Seanan McGuireDavid WeberTanya HuffL. E. Modesitt, Jr., Christopher RuocchioDavid John ButlerJohn C. WrightShelley Adina, and me, and reprints from Joe HaldemanJohn ScalziDavid BrinJulie CzernedaGareth L. PowellFonda LeeDr. Charles E. GannonDerek Künsken, and Thoraiya Dyer. There are still a couple of authors in the “maybe” category, so that list could grow.

More than half the money goes to the authors

I estimate about $7,000 of the $13,500 Can. (roughly $10,000 U.S.) I’m seeking will go toward paying these authors: 10 cents/word Canadian for new fiction and 5 cents/word Canadian for reprints. Other expenses covered by the budget include printing costs for the trade paperback version, design work, postage and handling, and, of course, Kickstarter fees. Shipping costs aren’t included in the various backer levels: if you choose an option involving shipping, that’ll be added by Kickstarter’s software as you finalize your donation, and counts toward the total goal.

Special backers’ rewards

Several authors have provided special rewards for backers, including David Weber (first readership–which means you get a copy of the manuscript of each of his books at the same time he submits them to the publisher!), Tanya Huff (have your name used as a character in one of her books), Julie Czerneda (ditto–that’s called a Tuckerization, by the way), David John Butler (signed hardcovers of his novel Witchy Eye and downloads of the songs from Witchy Kingdom, performed by the author), L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (copper Darrin coins from the Saga of Recluce), and Christopher Ruocchio (signed paperbacks of his novel Empire of Silence and copies of the new Baen original anthology Overruled). For my part, I’m throwing in a Tuckerization of my own, digital downloads of all Shadowpaw Press books, plus a limited number of print copies, as well as some signed hardcovers of The Cityborn and signed copies of Worldshaper and Master of the World. At the higher levels, I’m offering short-story critiques and, at the very highest level, a three-month writing mentorship (I’ve been a writer-in-residence more than once and have mentored several authors through various programs).

Stretch goals

What happens if the project funds, and then some? Very simple: for every $1,500 over the goal, I’ll increase the payment to the authors by 1 cent a word. So, at $15,000, they get 11 cents a word for new fiction, six cents for reprints. At $16,500, it goes to 12 cents a word for new fiction, and seven for reprints. Ad infinitum

So, what you can expect from the anthology?

New fiction from…

TANYA HUFF, whose diverse array of novels ranges from the highly popular Blood books, which mix vampires, fantasy, and romance and were the basis of the TV series Blood Ties, to the Torin Kerr military SF novels, and the humorous fantasies of The Keeper Chronicles. Her publisher is DAW Books, and in the US alone, according to her agent, more than 1.2 million copies of her work are in print.

SEANAN MCGUIRECampbellHugo, and Nebula Award-winning author of more than twenty books in various series, including the bestselling October Daye and InCryptid series. Seanan also writes biomedical science fiction thrillers as Mira Grant.

DAVID WEBER, bestselling author of the Honor Harrington science-fiction series and many others, including fantasy (Oath of SwordsThe War God’s Own) other space opera (Path of the FuryThe Armageddon Inheritance) and alternate history (the 1632 series with Eric Flint).

L. E. MODESITT, JR., bestselling author of more than seventy novels of fantasy and science fiction, including the Recluce Saga, the Spellsong Cycle, the Imager Portfolio, and more.

DAVID JOHN BUTLER, author (as D. J. Butler) of the Witchy Eye epic fantasy trilogy for Baen Books, set in an alternate version of early 19th-century America, and as Dave Butler of the middle-grade adventure series The Extraordinary Adventures of Clockwork Charlie, published by Knopf.

CHRISTOPHER RUOCCHIO, author of the The Sun Eater, a space-opera fantasy series from DAW books (published by Gollancz in the UK), which began with Empire of Silence in 2018, and assistant editor at Baen Books, where he has co-edited several anthologies.

JOHN C. WRIGHT, Nebula, Hugo, and Hugo Award-nominated author of some twenty-two novels, including the critically acclaimed The Golden Age and Count to a Trillion. His novel Somewhither won the Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 2016. He’s also published numerous short stories and anthologies, as well as non-fiction.

SHELLEY ADINA, author of twenty-four novels published by Harlequin, Warner, and Hachette, and more than a dozen more published by Moonshell Books, Inc., her own independent press, including the Magnificent Devices steampunk series. As Charlotte Henry she writes the Rogues of St. Just series of classic Regency romance, and as Adina Senft, writes the Whinburg Township Amish series.

EDWARD WILLETT, Aurora Award-winning author of more than sixty books of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction for readers of all ages, including the Worldshapers series, the Masks of Aygrima fantasy trilogy, written as E.C. Blake, and the stand-alone science fiction novel The Cityborn (all from DAW Books) and the five-book Shards of Excalibur YA fantasy series for Coteau Books

Plus stories from…

JOE HALDEMANHugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Forever WarThe Hemingway HoaxForever Peace and many others (more than two dozen), a SFWA Grand Master and a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.  Joe has also won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Locus Award, the Rhysling Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award.

JOHN SCALZINew York Times best seller in fiction, winner of the Hugo, the Locus, the Audie, the Seiun and the Kurd Lasswitz awards, and recipient of the 2016 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio, with works translated into twenty-plus languages; also Creative Consultant for the Stargate: Universe television series, writer for the video game Midnight Star, by Industrial Toys, executive Producer for Old Man’s War and The Collapsing Empire, both currently in development for film/TV, and writer of three short stories adapted into episodes of the Netflix series Love, Death + Robots.

DAVID BRIN, world-renowned, bestselling author of The PostmanKiln People, and Foundation’s Triumph and many others (and scientist, speaker, and technical consultant) winner of multiple Hugos, Nebulas, and other awards.

JULIE CZERNEDA, author of many novels for DAW Books, including the popular nine-book The Clan Chronicles series. She’s also written many short stories, edited anthologies, and taught writing. Her books have received international acclaim, multiple awards, and bestselling status.

FONDA LEE, author of the Green Bones Saga (Jade City, winner of the 2018 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, Jade War, and Jade Legacy, all from Orbit Books), as well as of the acclaimed young adult science fiction novels ZeroboxerExo, and Cross Fire.

DR. CHARLES E. GANNON, whose Caine Riordan/Terran Republic hard science fiction novels, published by Baen Books, have all been national best-sellers, and include four finalists for the Nebula, two for the Dragon Award, and a Compton Crook winner. He has also collaborated with Eric Flint in the New York Times– and Wall Street Journal–bestselling Ring of Fire series, worked in the Starfire, Black Tide Rising, Honor Harrington, and Man-Kzin universes, and written many works of short fiction.

GARETH L. POWELL, the two-time British Science Fiction Association Award-winning author of the Embers of War trilogy, the Ack-Ack Macaque series, two short story collections, the crime novella Ragged Alice, and the nonfiction guideAbout Writing. He has been a finalist for both the Locus Award in the US and the Seiun Award in Japan, and is the first person to have had individual work shortlisted in the Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, and Best Nonfiction categories of the BSFA Award in the same year.

DEREK KÜNSKEN, author of The Quantum Magician (Solaris) and The Quantum Garden, as well as the webcomic (with artist Wendy Muldon)  Briarworld, and numerous short stories, which have appeared in places like Asimov’sAnalogClarkesworld, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a number of year’s-best anthologies, and podcasts.

THORAIYA DYER, four-time Aurealis Award-winning, three-time Ditmar Award-winning, Australian science fiction writer and veterinarian, whose work has appeared in ClarkesworldApexCosmosAnalog, and various US and Australian anthologies. She’s also the author of the Titan’s Forest fantasy trilogy, published by Tor BooksCrossroads of CanopyEchoes of Understorey, and Tides of the Titans.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Kick in, and help make it happen!

Edward Willett

Edward Willett is an award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy for readers of all ages.